The Green Bay Packers enter week 17 with a meaningless game. They’ve wrapped up home field advantage throughout the playoffs and no longer have an undefeated season to worry about.
So what to do?
Coach Mike McCarthy said his team would play to win when the Detroit Lions come to town this week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be trotting out all their starters or even letting them play the whole game.
Although he hasn’t said exactly what the plan is, if you read between the lines it seems pretty clear.
“We’re going to play to win the game next week,” said McCarthy. “I’m not real excited about a division opponent coming in here and thinking we’re not going to do everything we can to get to 15-1.
“But health is an issue for us. I think that’s stating the obvious.”
He went further and said the Packers will look at all their options.
Meanwhile, quarterback Aaron Rodgers sounded like he plans on sitting this one out, at least for the most part.
“I think as a close friend of Matt [Flynn] I wouldn’t mind seeing him get an opportunity to play a little bit, but I’ll definitely do whatever Mike says,” Rodgers said.
Although McCarthy will probably keep some guys out of harm’s way, the team wants to see some injured starters who are close to returning, get game action before the playoffs.
Among those are tackles Chad Clifton and Bryan Bulaga and defensive end Ryan Pickett.
Pickett is returning from a concussion and is expected to go on Sunday. McCarthy said Bulaga is close to returning and is expected to return to his starting spot on the right side of the line. Clifton, who’s been out the longest, will practice all week and will need the Detroit game to shake off the rust.